2003 configured to handle all of them. One of them, of course, is the “default”
account. But try as I might, when I send mail using that account in gets sent
using one of the others. Why?
OK, that was me, this morning, asking the question. I was tearing my hair
out trying to send an email to a members-only discussion list, and no matter
that I explicitly told Outlook to use the account that I use on that list, it
insisted on using one of the others. Silently, of course.
The answer surprised me.
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Outlook 2003, and previous versions, can be configured to send and receive
email using many different accounts on any number of mail servers. I have
several accounts myself. In fact a friend was updating my information in her
address book recently and told me that she had four separate email addresses
for me. My response was “Only four?”.
When you have multiple accounts configured in Outlook, the account that’s
used to send mail varies based on several things:
- When you compose a new email, Outlook uses the email account that you’ve
configured as your default.
- When you reply or forward an email, Outlook uses the email account that the
message was originally received on.
- In either case, you can explicitly specify the account to use via the
Accounts drop down item that appears next to the message’s
I did that later step repeatedly. In test email after test email, I
explicitly told Outlook to use a specific account. Outlook apparently ignored
my request, and used a different account anyway.
As it turns out Outlook will, under certain conditions, select a different
outgoing email account if it has trouble sending on the designated
account. Of course it does this silently.
My solution was to visit the configuration for the account I was having
trouble with, and send a test email. It asked me for a password, which I knew
it shouldn’t have. In my case, the sending authorization configuration for this
account had been mistakenly changed to “Log on to incoming mail server before
sending mail”. That’s not how my mail server is configured. Changing the
configuration to “Use the same settings as my incoming mail server” resolved
Needless to say it was not obvious, and very frustrating.
So the lesson here is simple: if Outlook suddenly starts sending using the
wrong account, check your ability to send via the right account. There might be
a problem there.